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Invest in education, Mutula tells government

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 00:00 -- BY ELIZABETH WERE

EDUCATION minister Mutula Kilonzo has urged the government to continue investing in education to realize vision 2030. He said education is central to the establishment of a productive human resource base for the country. “This is in line with Chapter four, Article 53 of the constitution which states that every child has the right to basic nutrition, shelter and health care”, Mutula said

The minister was speaking during the official handover ceremony of the school meals programme food commodities by the Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Toshihisa Takata at MCEDO primary school in Mathare yesterday. Sh540 million was donated to the United Nation World Programme by the government of Japan to help the agency feed nearly 3.4 million vulnerable people including school children.

WFP is providing food assistance to 2.2 million food insecure people in Northern arid districts, feeding about 550,000 refugees in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps and providing schools meals to 630,000 children in 1,500 schools in arid districts of Northern Kenya and the slums of Nairobi. He said the government recognises the importance of education as a major factor in the National Development and poverty eradication efforts. “Consequently it has has continued to invest heavily in Education Sector in order to increase access, retention, equity and transition rates from Primary to Secondary Levels.

He said the policy of the government is to achieve the goal of Education for ALL (EFA) by the year 2015 in conformity with International Declarations and conventions although there are major regional disparities in terms of the achievement of set goals. "Schools in arid and semi arid localities face unique challenges due to negative cultural practices coupled with harsh climatic conditions which include migration in search of water and pasture, early marriages and moranism which have had a negative impact on enrollment leading to absenteeism and high dropout rates,"Mutula said. He said the ministry is aware of these challenges and has instituted appropriate collaboration mechanisms to address this undesirable scenario.